Monthly Archives: September 2012

ECU poli sci major serves as DNC delegate

ECU junior Uriah Ward attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte as the youngest delegate from North Carolina’s 3rd District.

Ward is working toward a bachelor’s in political science at ECU, where he also serves as president of the College Democrats. He expected to be joined by several other ECU College Democrats to hear President Barack Obama accept the Democratic Party nomination.

Duke professor to speak on origins of the banjo

Laurent Dubois of Duke University will deliver a public lecture entitled “The Banjo: Roots and Routes” at 5 p.m. Oct. 3 in Brewster B-102.

Dubois is the Marcello Lotti professor of history and romance studies at Duke University. He is a world-renowned expert on the Haitian Revolution, the French Empire, and the Enlightenment in a global perspective.

His most recent manuscript, “Haiti: The Aftershocks of History,” (featured in the New York Times Review of Books) studies independent Haiti and focuses on the historical roots of contemporary society.

Dubois’s lecture will argue that today, the banjo’s sound is synonymous with country, folk and bluegrass. Yet its origin lies in Africa, in various instruments featuring skin drum heads and gourd bodies. His lecture proposes that the banjo offers a powerful way to understand the broader processes of exchange, crossings, and creolization in the Atlantic World and the Americas. By listening and watching the banjo, we get a different perspective on the idea of America, one that emphasizes the ways in which our culture has been shaped by constant crossings between Africa, the Caribbean, and North America over the past centuries.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It opens the Atlantic World Speaker Series at ECU. For more information, contact Dr. Anoush Terjanian, Department of History, East Carolina University,, 252.328.6093.

Hero, activist Eric Alva to appear at ECU

Military hero and gay rights activist Eric Alva will present, “The End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” at 3 p.m. Oct. 3 in Room 244, Mendenhall Student Center at East Carolina University.

The first American soldier injured in the Iraq War, Alva was hailed as an American hero. Upon his retirement from the military, Alva came out as a gay man. He became a gay rights activist and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, where he speaks about LGBT issues and the military.

Alva worked with Congress to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevented openly homosexual or bisexual individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

The event is sponsored by the Student Affairs Continuing Career Development Committee. Registration is available on OneStop under the university training tab

For additional information, contact Dean Smith at (252) 328-4703 or David Gaskins at (252) 328-6387.

Society of Women Engineers to meet Sept. 28

The Society of Women Engineers will celebrate the chartering of its local chapter at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 in Mendenhall Great Room #1.

The chapter was officially recognized this summer by the national chapter. The group supports women in engineering, a field that has traditionally included only about 20 percent female students and a smaller percentage of women engineers in practice.

The chapter also serves to highlight ECU’s engineering program, which enrolled its first students in 2004. More than 450 students are enrolled in the program in fall 2012.

For more details about the organization, visit

ECU professor serves on vehicle technology panel

East Carolina University occupational therapy professor Dr. Anne Dickerson was one of ten experts on a panel that reviewed vehicle technologies for benefits in promoting capacity, confidence and convenience for drivers as they age.

Dickerson is the director of Research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative at ECU. She has been researching functional performance of older adults since the early 1990s. When the American Occupational Therapy Association identified older adult drivers as an emerging practice area in 2003, she began to focus on the functional performance of driving and has become one of the leading occupational therapy researchers in this growing area.

She has an occupational therapy degree from Temple University, a master’s degree in allied health education/health administration from Texas State University and a doctorate in
developmental psychology from Florida International University.

Other panel participants included practitioners and researchers with expertise in geriatric medicine, kinesiology, human factors and occupational therapy.

The study was conducted by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.  For more information about the study, visit For details on the panel, visit

Kruse named distinguished professor

East Carolina University professor Dr. Jamie Kruse was inducted as the 2012 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor during the college’s annual faculty convocation Aug. 20.

The professorship is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies commitment to and love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity and professional service.


Kruse is professor of economics and founding director of the Center for Natural Hazards Research. She served as the founding director of the RENCI Center for Coastal Systems Informatics and Modeling from 2006 to 2008. Kruse joined ECU in 2004. She is a member of the American Economic Association, Economic Science Association, Southern Economic Association; Society for Risk Analysis, Society of Behavioral Economics and the American Association for Wind Engineering. She serves on the board of editors for two journals: the International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, and the Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis.

Kruse has published more than 50 refereed journal articles, has authored more than two dozen reports, and has been a presenter at more than 80 symposiums, conferences and meetings within her field of research, which includes experimental economics, applied microeconomics, industrial organization, risk and mitigation, health economics and wind hazard economics. She has been a primary investigator or Co-PI on research grants totaling almost $20 million: $2.5 million while at ECU.

Kruse was most recently awarded ECU’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and in 2011 was selected as an ECU Women of Distinction Honoree.

She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Arizona, a master’s in agricultural economics from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s in ag honors from the University of Nebraska.

For additional information, contact Kruse at 252-328-5784 or

ECU Gospel Choir performs for Congressional Black Caucus

The ECU Gospel Choir performed in Washington, D.C. Sept. 20 for the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Weekend. (Photos courtesy of Ray Rogers, Office of Congressman Butterfield)

Thirty-five musicians from the East Carolina University Gospel Choir represented the 1st Congressional District of North Carolina at the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Weekend Sept. 20. The choir was invited to perform by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who serves as second vice chair on the caucus.

Read more about the event at

Ray Rogers, district director of the Office of Congressman Butterfield, said the ECU Gospel Choir were “great ambassadors for the Pirate Nation.”

1 2 3 5